Seven up!

A string of lucky charms for Bay Area theater lovers

› a& Andromache Berkeley company Central Works remounts its 1994 production of Racine's gripping 17th-century account of the Trojan War aftermath. Though the company likes to emphasize its collaboratively written projects, director Gary Graves's adaptation of the play, which follows the trail of unrequited love leading to the enigmatic Andromache, was one of the first shows that brought the company critical attention. Oct. 14–Nov. 19. Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk. (510) 558-1381, Colorado After producing a successful run of Killing My Lobster member Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's first play, Hunter Gatherers, at the Thick House this past summer, Impact Theater takes on another piece by the up-and-coming dramaturge. Again the central theme is everyone's favorite human trait: jealousy. This time a teen beauty queen disappears the day before the big pageant and everyone in her family is a suspect. Sept. 14–Oct. 21. La Val's Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk. (510) 464-4468, The God of Hell Entering its 40th year this season, the Magic Theatre celebrates with the latest play by the company's erstwhile playwright-in-residence, Sam Shepard. The God of Hell is Shepard's indictment of the Bush administration; he wrote it in 2004 with hope that Dubya wouldn't see a second term. Amy Glazer directs this piece about a Midwestern couple whose lives are disrupted by an odd visit from a traveling salesman hawking patriotic goods. Sept. 23–Oct. 22. Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, building D, Buchanan at Marina, SF. (415) 441-8822, Passing Strange Berkeley Rep enters uncharted territory with this not-quite musical conceived and written by Stew (with music cowritten by longtime collaborator Heidi Rodewald), a singer-songwriter whose solo songcraft and controversial band the Negro Problem have received acclaim from the New York Times and Village Voice. With a live band to accompany Stew and his cast, the show follows the African American on a journey from his native Los Angeles and the church community he's raised in to an alternative life in Amsterdam and Berlin, as Stew searches for an authentic self amid people who pass for something they're not. Oct. 20–Dec. 3. Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Thrust Stage), 2025 Addison, Berk. (510) 647-2949, "Pinteresque" The Oxford English Dictionary does indeed have an entry for the titular term: "Of or reutf8g to Harold Pinter; resembling or characteristic of his plays.... Pinter's plays are typically characterized by implications of threat and strong feeling produced through colloquial language, apparent triviality, and long pauses." Eastenders Repertory Company and some aspiring playwrights tap into and respond to those qualities with this program, which features Pinter's The Lover and short pieces inspired by that work. Four years ago the company struck gold with a similar idea applied to Tennessee Williams, just one of its many inventive one-act programming ideas. See its take on Pinter, and then grab a pint, er. Sept. 13–Oct. 8. Eureka Theatre Company, 215 Jackson, SF. (510) 568-4118, "SF Fringe Festival" If you can spare an hour, then get to a Fringe show. Now in its 15th year of rounding up improv troupes, comedy groups, soloists, and multimedia acts from the frontiers of the theater world, the festival delivers 40 original performances in 200 shows over 12 days. This year features Best of SF Fringe 2002 RIPE Theatre putting on a handful of new shorts, Boxcar Players doing improv on the Mexican Bus, someone rolling a boulder up Powell for 20 minutes, and a group from India performing from the Kama Sutra (oh my). Maybe you can spare two hours. Sept. 6–17.

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